CARSON, Calif. -- The career of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. has become synonymous with controversy and Saturday night was no different.
After a week of questions on how much Chavez weighs, and if could make the new weight of 173, Bryan Vera appeared to have the answers throughout their 10-round fight at StubHub Center.
That was until the final scores were read. In the end, the star was awarded a gift, with Chavez (47-1-1) escaping with a unanimous decision.
Judge Carla Caiz had Chavez winning, 96-94. Marty Denkin scored it 97-93. The most eye-opening scorecard came from Gwen Adair, who scored the fight 98-92. Adair scored the first seven rounds and the 10th for Chavez.
The majority of the 5,206 in attendance, who were pro-Chavez at the beginning of the main event, booed the decision vociferously.
"I thought I did enough to win the fight," a dejected Vera said. "I came in, having never fought at 170 and I backed him up the whole time. He never really hurt me. I outworked him and I think I won the fight.
"This makes me sick. I would like to fight him again."
Vera, the No. 1-rated middleweight by the WBO, moved up in weight to meet Chavez. However, he was treated like the opponent from the outset.
The first fight contract had the weight limit at 163, but increased to 168 after a cut forced a postponement from the original Sept. 7 date. This week, with Chavez having more trouble making the weight, a new limit of 173 was agreed upon.
So, after an extended 16-week training camp, Vera was only left with his seventh loss of his career, falling to 23-7.
"He did everything he was supposed to do," said Vera's promoter, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions. "He was told to make 163, 168 and now 173. This should have been his step.
"When the fight ended, I thought he (Vera) won the fight."
Chavez was making his first appearance in the ring since losing to Sergio Martinez at middleweight (160) last September. Following that loss, he also had to serve a nine-month suspension for a positive marijuana test. This was supposed to be his first fight at super-middleweight.
Throughout the fight, Chavez looked like a fighter that struggled to make weight. He was sluggish from the opening round. Instead of putting his punches together, he settled for single power shots. There were no knockdowns.
"I don't think Vera won," Chavez said. "I won the fight. I had a ref that did nothing. Low blows ... head butts ... nothing. I had to deal with all of that in the ring.
"In the 10th round, he was done."
Chavez said that he's focusing on making the super-middleweight limit of 168 for his next fight.
It was a perfect sweep for a pair of former Olympic fighters on the undercard. First, 2012 U.S. Olympian Jose Ramirez of Avenal won his sixth consecutive fight to improve to 6-0.
Ramirez defeated Jose Morales by unanimous decision in a four-round fight. All three judges scored it 40-36.
Oscar Valdez, a two-time Mexican Olympian, now fighting out of Santa Fe Springs, improved to 7-0 with a third-round knockout.
Karim Mayfield (18-0-1) made his pro debut for Top Rank Promotions and scored an eighth-round knockout victory over Chris Fernandez.
Diego Magdaleno, who was coming off a split-decision loss to Roman Martinez in April, defeated Edgar Riovalle by unanimous decision in a 10-rounder.
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